Cape Breton-based Celtic fusion band Sprag Session makes its debut appearance in France today at the 42nd Festival Interceltique de Lorient in Brittany, France. Lauded as the largest festival of its kind on Earth, the ten-day celebration of world music anticipates 800,000 music lovers descending on the town of Lorient for this year’s event. This year’s festival focuses on Acadian music from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Along with fellow Cape Breton fiddlers Rachel Davis and Chrissy Crowley, Sprag Session will then head to Wisconsin to perform at Milwaukee Irish Festival, the largest Celtic celebration in North America, from August 16-19.
The ever-growing momentum of Sprag Session’s debut, self-titled record–released in April of this year–has propelled them into international festival appearances. The young instrumental band has been building an impressive resumé this year with appearances at the Maine Celtic Celebration, Kansas City Irish Fest, and Shetland Folk Festival (UK). They’ll be back in Canada in late August at the Right Some Good festival in Cape Breton and later at the Celtic Colours International Festival in October.
Fiddler Colin Grant describes the upcoming appearances in Lorient and Milwaukee as exciting new opportunities for the group on both sides of the pond.
“Besides the great chance to showcase our tunes for a large number of European and North American buyers who attend these two festivals, we’re hoping to make some new friends and fans who will allow us to return for subsequent tours. And hopefully folks at home won’t mind if we invite a couple thousand people to come visit Nova Scotia.”
Having spent time studying in France and performing in Nova Scotia’s Francophone regions of Clare and Chéticamp, Grant is no stranger to presenting Sprag Session’s high-energy live show in French.
“Being an instrumental band, we have a slight advantage where the musical language is universal, though we’ll likely need to translate a few of the Cape Breton expressions with which we’ve named a few of our tunes.”
Grant also acknowledges the immense support of the Cape Breton Music Industry Co-Operative’s (CBMIC) International Music Export Program, and regional showcasing events at ECMA, Nova Scotia Music Week, Francofête, and Celtic Colours for bringing International festival buyers to the Maritimes.
“Without the chances to play for delegates here at home, we could never develop new markets abroad.”